FOURty seconds with Michael Riemenschneider

08 Jul 2016
2 min read
The Swiss chef behind London’s latest fine dining restaurant, Canvas, tells FOUR all about its unique ‘create-your-own-tasting-menu’ concept and what he had for breakfast this morning…

What inspired you to open a fine dining restaurant with a ‘create-your-own-tasting-menu’ concept?

I wanted to offer tasting menus that had an element of choice and personalisation. People are often put off tasting menus because there’s something on the menu that they don’t like, so by offering an element of choice we are giving customers the opportunity to tailor the menu to their tastes.

How does the concept work exactly?

There are 16 dishes on the menu from which guests can select their number of courses (3,4,5,7 or 10) and preferred dishes. We offer two levels of matching wines matched by our Sommelier – the Classic flight or the even more exclusive Iconic wines to further enhance the experience. There is also a 6 course Menu Surprise that I put together each day based on the best produce from the market that morning.

In what ways do you think the concept is better than a traditional set tasting menu or a la carte menu?

Quite simply we offer personalisation. We’re modernising fine dining to make it more approachable, more engaging and to provide a more immersive dining experience.

What can diners expect to find when browsing the menu…

A collection of the finest, well sourced ingredients. Classic cooking created with modern cooking techniques.

At the moment, what’s the signature dish on the menu?

There’s a couple – the langoustines with veal and pearl barley, the scallops with cauliflower ‘a little different’ and my grandmother’s bread and butter pudding.

Are you offering diners an a la carte menu, too?

The whole concept of CANVAS is about personalising your tasting menus, essentially it’s an a la carte tasting menu.

Are there any other chefs using the concept around the world at the moment that you admire?

We’re changing the face of fine dining. Quite simply no one else is offering anything similar.

Do you have any plans to open any outposts with a similar structure in the future, or is this a one-off?

Right now I’m focusing on CANVAS but there are exciting plans for the future so watch this space -some of my very loyal staff will run those outposts for me – but right nowI promised everyoneI will be here lunch and dinner every service.

And lastly, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Nutella on toast – how very Swiss!